Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rum Reviews: The Fourth Installment

Welcome to the fourth entry in my continuing series where I will give you the skinny on the good, the wretched, and the divine concerning what you should be drinking: rum.

It was currency in the Caribbean in the old days, George Washington demanded it be served at his inauguration, Ernest Hemingway lived off a diet of rum and shark flesh during his stint in Cuba, and now I'm here to help you navigate the top, the bottom, and all shelves in between concerning one of the world's greatest treasures.

Nothing fruity here, no flavored spirits to hide terrible production, or inept craftsmanship, just the booze. Feel free to suggest what you will for future installments and liquor representatives are more than welcome to provide me with your product concerning tasting and review.

Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum

Without doubt, this is the most innocuous rum ever. That is not to say it is without character, merely that this one blends so well as to not even know that it's there. You could almost trick people with this offering from Cruzan. Make someone you know doesn't like rum a Cuba Libre with the Cruzan Single Barrel Estate and they may just think it's a coke with some lime juice in it.

It's sweet, rich, and lingers on the palette. It is also heavy. Not what I would call thick--it has a very smooth texture--but it's so intense that drinking it straight makes me think it needs to be turned down a notch. Something about it's character is so dominate that you only really want a little bit at a time.

Verdict: Top shelf mixing rum… Yeah, I don't really know what that means either. It's really, really well made, but a little less barrel aging may be in it's favor when it comes to drinking it alone, that, or the strongest element in the blend needs to be removed. If you're mixing drinks and have the top shelf funds (which is just plain incongruous to me) this is probably your finest option.

Old Mount Gay Eclipse

This is easily the hardest rum of all I've had to talk about. As I said for Bacardi, “It’s rum.” Nothing more nothing less. It is a little easier to take straight than Bacardi as it is in my opinion a little better made, but it has even less character. It’s something better than a standard rum yet not enough so to justify the price of a 750ml bottle for what you could get you a handle of something else. Talking about this one makes me think of the many well made Vodka’s out there. The better the quality, the less personality the Vodka; so when Hangar and Square One max out at about $40, why would you pay more for some of the designer crap out there? Granted, Mount Gay Eclipse won’t run you that much but you’re gonna mix this one. You might as well use something that cost less. Even if whatever else you use isn't as well made; after all... you're mixing.

Verdict: A victim of it’s own quality. The absolute best, standard, nothing-special-about-it rum on the market.

Myere's Rum Original Dark

It's good.

They aren't joking about the dark part, but the color doesn't really lead to and equally intense flavor. This one is hard to talk about. There are a lot of flavors; no one is stronger than another as to dominate. This is rum for a those who enjoying the age old sport of drinking for nothing more than the sake of drinking. (I have no doubt so many of my literary archetypes would love this rum.) You can't hide it's taste in a drink and the color is gonna come through and tint anything you mix it with a dark brown. I've been trying to write this one off as nothing special from the first sip but something about it stays with me.

I don't want to drink it straight as the flavors are too unfocused, and I'd never ask for it in a mixed drink because it's too pronounced. Yet I like it. I just wish I could tell you why.

It's good...

Verdict: Worthy of a sample. I'd understand if someone said they didn't like it, but I bet they'd have a hard time saying what it was they didn't like.

You'll want to check out previous highlights if you missed them (January,February,March ) and be sure to check back next month as I will bring you more of the best, worst, and the in between. All things concerning rum: what you should be drinking.


Marion said...

So, for someone who thinks they don't like rum, you would recommend the Cruzan?

Chad Hull said...

Most certainly. Any light fruity (pineapple or grapefruit juice make a good base, I'd stay away from OJ as it's a bit heavier) drink, or as I said, a Cuba Libre, will be fabulous with this particular Cruzan.

It may prove cost prohibitive for some--and it's not the easiest to find--but I think it's worth tracking down. If you go hunting for it, here a picture of the bottom so you won't get confused with Cruzan's various other offerings.

Terry Weyna said...

I never feel I'm really on vacation until I have a drink made with rum. It used to be a frozen strawberry daquiri, but I think I've somehow become too old for them now. Isn't that sad? Still, there's nothing like a rum drink for making you certain that you're not going to be doing any work that day.

Chad Hull said...

There is no such thing as, 'too old' for anything.

Have two daiquiris (I have no idea how to spell that).

I agree about rum and lack of productivity. I discovered one last night (review forthcoming) that made me think all else in life will be a let down...

Save rum for the end of the day, then you can at least get a little done.

jivey said...

So...What about BARCURDRI?
I should call you soon. You still have the same phone number?


Chad Hull said...

You know I had something to say about that.

Same number